Archive for January, 2013

Tech closes nonconference play with win

UPDATED, 10:30 p.m. Georgia Tech guard Mfon Udofia understood the situation a little better than most. While Chattanooga did not appear to be much of a threat to the Yellow Jackets, the Mocs were doing a fair impersonation of one.

“Pretty much me being a senior, me being through a lot, I just wanted to let these guys know that this is a game where we can be beat,” Udofia said, “so we have to pick it up or we will be beaten.”

The Jackets responded, shaking out of a first-half funk to take care of Chattanooga 74-58 on Wednesday night at McCamish Pavilion. Tech finished its nonconference schedule at 10-2 and will play its ACC opener at home Saturday afternoon against Miami.

Tech sizzled on offense in the second half, making 17 of 28 shots while recording assists on 10 of the 17 baskets. The Jackets also out-rebounded the Mocs 21-6 in the second half.

Said Chattanooga coach John Shulman, “They kicked our tail on the glass.”

Tech won its sixth game in a row. Aside from …

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Groh tears into Tech

In an interview with the Roanoke Times, former Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh left little doubt about his feelings about his 2 ½ years coaching the Yellow Jackets.

“Just to say it briefly, this circumstance here was the most unprofessional, divisive and negative environment in which I’ve ever been,” Groh said. “To say more would be unprofessional of myself. It was just a bad cultural match.”

Tech coach Paul Johnson hired Groh in Jan. 2010 after Groh had coached at Virginia for nine seasons. He made the decision to dismiss him Oct. 8, six games into the season, after the Jackets had allowed 40-plus points in three consecutive games.

“I’m sorry to hear that Al feels that way,” Johnson said in a statement. “I’m surprised he would stay here for 2 1/2 years if he felt like that it was that bad.”

A statement released from Groh at the time of his firing was decidedly more diplomatic.

“I appreciate all the help and input from (assistant defensive coaches) …

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Notes: Tech cheerleader’s effort not flagging

The unlikeliest star of the Sun Bowl?

That would be Brendan Espey, the Georgia Tech cheerleader who fought gusting winds to run the gold Tech flag out of the tunnel to lead the team on the field before the game, won by the Yellow Jackets 21-7 over USC on Monday.

Leaning forward and head down, Espey carried the flag into the teeth of winds so strong that they blew him off course and almost knocked him over. He was concerned he wouldn’t make it to the end of the field, but was motivated by pride and self-preservation.

“It was either (keep going) or the team and the (Ramblin’) Wreck is coming right behind me,” said Espey, a senior in his third year on the cheerleading team.

Espey’s adventure was on the broadcast and later made the game highlights on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” Espey, a former high school football player and wrestler who can bench press 295 pounds, knew he was in trouble when he thought he had run out to the 50-yard line, only to realize he was still …

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